Clothing and Cosmetics

Appearance was important in ancient Egypt, from wigs made of human hair to carefully applied eye makeup, the elite were always keen to look their best. Pigment used to form eye makeup was ground up on stone palettes and intricate ivory combs adorned natural hair and wigs. 

Perfumes were used to improve odour, but were also believed to allow a person to commune with the gods. Senetjer, the Egyptian word for incense, literally means 'to cause to be divine'.

Living in a hot country, the Egyptians in all periods tended to wear light airy clothing made predominantly from linen, though wool was also used, and, after the Greek occupation of Egypt, cotton.

In the Old and Middle Kingdoms, men's kilts came in different lengths, some as high as the knees, others as long as the ankles. Women's dresses covered almost the whole body, and most often came in white. In the New Kingdom, an increased variety of fashions existed: pleated kilts, tunics, and dresses became fashionable, as well as loose-hanging cloaks. People also often wore heavy collars, which were secured in place using menat -counterweights